Once summer gets here in full force, I know we all try to stay cool any way we can. No one wants to bake and even cooking at the stove can get hot! I no longer have a grill - but I can put the old George Foreman outside if need be! I don't mind cooking in the summer, but I prefer lighter meals. No heavy foods that feel like cement blocks in your belly - especially if you need to do outdoor work!
A few ideas for lighter eating and cooking seem to be in order. I know I often need lots of reminders. We all get stuck and bored after a while. We really do have lots of options!!
Potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, chef salads, side salads
Veggie salads of all types - broccoli salad, cauliflower salad, pea salad, bean salad, corn salad, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, radish, carrots, lettuce, cabbage, pea pods, geesh any veggie you can think of can become a salad when mixed with other things. Throw in a little of your favorite dressing, maybe some bacon bits or seeds or maybe cubes of cheese - and boom you have salad for meal!
I love a tomato and onion or tomato and cucumber sandwich on toast in the summer!!! One of my favorites!
Use tortillas and make all kinds of roll-ups.
Take a bagel and add some cream cheese and top with an abundance of sliced fresh veggies - oh yum!
Grilled cheese - jazz them up. Nobody says they have to be plain old cheese and bread! Use various cheeses add meat or tomato slices. Use different kinds of bread. You can even use leftover mac n cheese - on bread and fry up a sandwich - carbs overload SURE - but it is good!!!! (ask me how I know!)
Fruit - eat fruit plain or mix any variety you have together for fruit salads. Make a fruit pizza. Have fruit on yogurt or over a bowl of cereal or over oatmeal or over ice cream. Grilled fruit. Frozen fruit. Granted, not all of those are meals - but hey us adults need dessert too!!!!!
Make a charcuterie board - crackers or breads, cheeses, sliced meats and sliced veggies of any sort. I do this often in the summer. I always have summer sausage on hand and lots of cheese and of course all kinds of veggies. I can eat with crackers, with tortillas, pita, or just alone. This is a lovely meal for me.
Grill veggies and fruits on the grill. Slices of zucchini, onion, potato, corn on the cob, pineapple, peaches, etc. can all be fixed on the grill and may I say - they are wonderful!!!!!!
There are many cold soups that can be made - and they are delish!
Hard boiled eggs or deviled eggs are nice to have on hand and a great protein.
Smoothies can take the place of a meal. Add protein powder, your greens and fruits and yum!
Make up a bunch of baked potatoes on a cooler day (or use your crockpot) - and have baked potato night now and then.
Make sure you always have ice on hand for cold drinks. I like to keep a jug of water in the frig so it is always cold. I fill several smaller bottles that I use for individual portions as well. Iced tea or Kool-Aid is good. Lemonade is another summer favorite.
I know, I know. Many guys need meat and potatoes and a hearty meal. Yeah, at least they think they do! LOL I can have a hearty and very filling meal without all the normal heavy foods.
If you have to fix heartier and heavier meals - use the crockpot, the Insta Pot, or an air fryer.
Use the grill when you can.
Just make yourself a list of all the cooler and lighter foods that you and your family like - have ingredients on hand. Most of what I mentioned above are just basic food supplies, fixed in different ways!
Get creative and have fun with your food this summer.
Beat the heat and stay healthy and cool and use what you have around the house and garden.
Be the COOL kid this summer!